5 Tips For Coping with Anxiety at Night

Why do people get more anxious at night? Is there a solution to this robber of sleep?  You’ve had a rough day at work. Your boss has been breathing down your neck these past weeks over a project that’s due for submission in three days’ time, and you come back to find that your dogs have turned the house inside out in search of fun while you were away. After making some sense out of all the mess, you finally crash on your bed. But your mind has other plans for you. Rather than have a sound, hearty sleep, your head fires up with different kinds of events and worries, and your dream of a wonderful sleep flies through the window. Does that sound like you? Then keep reading for tips on coping with anxiety at night.
 

Why Anxiety at Night?

 
According to Health.com, one of the triggers of night anxiety is the quiet, and private atmosphere created by night. Because there are no distractions, and you are lying alone in a dark room without any distractions, thoughts start popping into your mind until they become overwhelming and you lose control.  Night anxiety can also be caused by a sleeping disorder which prevents you from sleeping until anxious thoughts start surfacing in your mind. For insomniacs, sleep time is a dreaded period that involves a lot of tossing/turning around. In the course of trying to sleep, they become lost in thoughts, most of which are innocuous in real-life but at the moment unsurmountable. And this becomes a vicious cycle with different episodes playing out every night. If your anxiety becomes uncontrollable when you are about going to bed, here are some helpful tips to help you get some sleep.
 

Do light activity before bed

 
While sleep is a natural process, it can be enhanced by doing activities that are not anxiety-inducing close to bedtime. Set a routine that keeps your body in sleep mode before you sleep. This will put you in a relaxed mood and make it easier for your body to ease into sleep. Things you can do to wind down include brushing your teeth, washing your face, taking a shower, putting on your pajamas, and so on. According to psychologist Susanna Halonen, ‘The more identical you can make every evening, the more you train your body to prepare for sleep and the easier it will be to achieve.’ So if you want to reduce your night anxiety, train your body to wind down when it’s close to bedtime, and your mind will follow suit.
 

Take a bath

 
A bath is a soothing activity that helps the body relax, calms the mind and is a low-cost way of reducing anxiety at night. If you are a fan of essential oils, adding a few drops of lavender to your bath water can aid the sleep process. Also, a bath lowers your body temperature, which primes the brain to release melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. Another thing you can do is use an essential oil diffuser while taking your bath.
 

 

Avoid caffeine

 
Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can rob you of sleep if taken too close to sleep time. It takes about six hours for the effects of a single cup of coffee or tea to wear off. Trouble getting through your afternoon without a cup or two of coffee? Some people have found that meditation or light physical activity (walking, going up and down stairs, etc.) helps them get through the afternoon.
 

Take a deep breath

 
Deep breathing can help declutter your mind and free it of anxious thoughts. Experts say that breathing in and holding one’s breath for a few seconds before breathing out can help your mind
and body relax and slow things to a manageable pace.
 

Exercise earlier

 
According to Will William, a meditation teacher, doing vigorous exercise late in the evening can make your nervous system too active for sleep. He advises that you can restructure your exercise time to the morning or use meditation to relax your mind after exercise.
 
We hope that these simple yet important tips help you get a better night’s rest. Do you suffer with anxiety at night? If so, we’d love to hear from you. How do you cope with it? Any tricks or tips that would benefit our readers? If so, please use the comment box below to let us know. Until next time.
 

7 Stress Management Tips for a More Balanced Mental Health

Quite often, stress can impact our mental health without us even realizing that it’s happening.  Fromm school to work to social lives, it sneaks in and can create problems and symptoms that will lead you to start looking for stress management tips.  Since stress and mental health go hand in hand, one will impact the other.  The unfortunate reality is that stress is a part of life and it’s not going to be leaving any time soon.  So, let’s take a look at some ways to help when you need to find ways to cope with it on a regular basis and stay in charge of your life.
 

Understand what is causing you stress

 
The first step to getting on top of your stress is understanding what exactly the root of it is. Are there confrontations at work that are creating a stressful environment?  Are there deadlines or a packed schedule that makes you feel like your overwhelmed?  Write down every single thing that is causing stress (even the smallest things) and you’ll be able to start working on them.  Identifying the cause of your stress will help you to find a way to solve it, or at least lighten the load a little bit for yourself.  Do this on a regular basis, or whenever you feel your stress levels rising and it’ll help keep things together so that you can get through it all.
 

Learn the effects of stress

 
Despite what those in older generations say, stress takes its toll on the human body both physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Learning about the signs and effects helps you be better prepared for taking on your life as much as possible.  Common effects of stress are:

  • Irritability
  • Insomnia or Hypersomnia
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle tension
  • Heightened emotions

 
This is not a complete list, but these include some of the most popular signs that stress is getting the better of you.  As far as effects of stress, you’ll find that you may have a hard time dealing with emotional situations such as work or personal conflicts.  You may find that you are tired all the time, leading you to slip into unhealthy eating and exercising habits that will lead to a drop in your immune system.  Mentally speaking, you’ll be on edge all of the time and that can bring challenges in focusing as well as staying in control of your emotions.  Simply put, stress can do a number on your life in all ways, which is why stress management is critical.
 


7 Stress Managements Tips for a More Balanced Mental Health

 

Have a venting buddy

 
One of the best ways to help you bust through the worry and tension in your life is to talk about it. Maybe you have a family member or an old friend that could benefit from the experience of being mutual “stress venting buddies”.  Whether you meet on a regular basis and let it all out, or you keep in touch and help each other through it, a venting buddy that you trust can be a great way to help you deal with getting your stress under control. It doesn’t need to e advice or help, it’s simply just someone that will listen to you, validate what you’re feeling, and understand that you just need to get let it out.
 

Consider counselling

 
If you are in a situation where you feel as though you could benefit from some tips and advice on how to get through the particular stressful situation that you’re in, counselling is a great way to get that professional support and stress relief options. It can be regular sessions, or just occasional appointments when you feel like you need the extra help and support.  While it isn’t right for everyone, it can be beneficial in situations where you traditional stress relief options aren’t working.
 

Take some “you” time

 
When you feel it all building up, one of the best ways to get past it is to take some time for yourself. Whether it’s a night out at the movies, a night in with a book, a hot bath, writing in a journal, whatever it is, take some time for yourself and you’ll find that you’ll feel empowered to take on the world again when you get up the next morning.  Taking time to recharge is one of the best ways to take care of the stress that you’re feeling, because you’ll be stronger for it.
 


 

Try eating right and exercising

 
Staying healthy keeps your body in shape to take on everything that may be coming to you. Even when it’s hard to focus on it in the midst of all of the worry piling up around you, eating right and exercising will help you keep your mind focused on the productive things to help you move forward, and you’ll be able to know that you are keeping your body strong and healthy so that you won’t have to deal with sickness to make it all that much harder.
 

Keep it in perspective

 
The last thing to think about for stress management is to remember that it’s going to pass. It may be hard to focus on that thought at times, but you’ll be able to help get yourself through it if you keep your attention focused on the light at the end of the tunnel. Stress is temporary and you’ll be stronger for it when you come out on the other side, so hang in there.
 
No one likes thinking about stress, and no one wants to talk about it, but sharing tips like these helps you remember that everyone goes through it in different scenarios, and you can get through it if you just remember that you are not alone.  Use these tips and tricks to keep it all in your control and the light at the end of your tunnel will be as bright as possible for you to focus on.
 
Click here for additional information on how to cope with stress.
 
 

Healing Bracelets and How They Can Help Depression, Anxiety & Stress

In our fast-paced world, conditions such as anxiety, stress, and depression are becoming more and more prominent in all age brackets.  At the same time, treatments for these conditions are also expanding and growing to be able to offer comfort and relief for those who suffer so that they are able to live their lives as much as possible.  When looking natural options, the market has exploded to give those on the hunt a variety of options to really get treatment that works for their lifestyles.  One of the most popular ones is the use of crystals for healing depression as well as anxiety and stress.  Take a look.
 
 

What Are Healing Bracelets?

 
A healing bracelet, when you’re looking at something that encompasses these three mental health conditions – originates from the idea of the seven chakras that every human being has.  These seven chakras, when balanced properly, keep in good health (physically, mentally and emotionally).  When they’re out of sorts, that’s when you end up with conditions such as depression and anxiety.
 
Healing Bracelets and How They Can Help Depression, Anxiety & Stress - Chakras
 
There are several kinds of stones that are said to help balance your chakras out naturally so that you can enjoy the equilibrium that they bring to your spirit.  Throughout history, many found that when certain stones were worn or held, they helped these conditions minimize and totally disappear.  From addiction to depression and anxiety, the healing properties of stones are vast and effective in people for all ages.
 
Due to their popularity, there are quite a few kinds of bracelets that you can look at for your lifestyle and cosmetic choices.  The main ones sold in our modern world are stone bracelets using hemp or string to keep the stones together in a bracelet (that is adjustable in sizing) as well as metallic ones that have a modern finish to them for those that are looking to wear them in a subtle way to the office or out and about.  These are popular amongst men especially.
 
 

The Most Popular Stones and Their Healing Powers

 
There are a lot of stones to look at, but when you’re focusing specifically on the most popular healing stones, you should be looking at:

  1. Citrine: This stone is best used when it is clear and not smoky, but both can be effective when needed. This stone works by drawing out your negativity and replacing it with positive and peaceful energy.  This is great for detoxifying your soul and mind from depression as well as anxiety and stress.
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  3. Sunstone: As the name suggests, this healing stone in a bracelet is great for adding some positivity to your outlook so that you can keep the negativity at bay by seeing that there are positive things waiting for you in everything that you do.
  4.  
    Sunstone - Healing Bracelet Stone for Depression, Anxiety and Stress
     

  5. Smoky Quartz: This stone needs to be cleansed regularly due to the fact that it will absorb your negative thoughts and emotions, but it is relatively easy to find and can be useful in all that it offers for taking away the often repetitive negative thoughts that can consume your mind when you’re having a rough day.
  6.  
    Smokey Quartz - Healing Bracelet Stone for Depression, Anxiety and Stress
     

  7. Rose Quartz: This is one of the best crystals for depression because it is intended to give you warm and mellow feelings even when you are feeling especially dark and down. This stone is perfect for offering you warmth and comfort which will help pick up your spirits.  This is also fantastic healing stone for anxiety and stress, making it a must-have for those who suffer from all three of these conditions regularly or just from time to time.
  8.  
    Rose Quartz - Healing Bracelet Stone for Depression, Anxiety and Stress
     

  9. Angel Aura: Also known as Opal Aura, this stone is great for lifting your spirits and reminding you that the Universe is with you and you are not alone in anything that you do. This will help you remember that your Guardian Angel is there and ready to keep you safe and loved even on the hardest days.  This is a great stone for promoting hope and comfort in times of need.
  10.  
    Aqua Aura Quartz - Healing Bracelet Stone for Depression, Anxiety and Stress
     

 
 

How Healing Bracelets Can Help Depression, Anxiety & Stress

 
As you can see with all of this information, these kinds of healing bracelets are helpful because they offer support and protection to those who carry them.  These stones correspond to colours, and this colour scheme (indigo, white, violet, blue, green, pink, yellow, orange, and red) helps you to make sure that you are accessing and stabilizing every chakra to give you an overall positive mental, emotional and spiritual health to rely on.
 
These bracelets are specifically popular with children or teens, as many parents are not interested in offering pharmaceutical options due to age in those who need them.  These bracelets offer customization, style, comfort, and – best of all – natural treatment for these powerful and common conditions.
 
Healing bracelets are one of the best options to consider even for adults due to their positive impact, lack of side effects or shortfalls, and the option to customize both the style as well as the stone types so that you can get the right blend for the comfort and results that you’re looking for during any given day.  Our world has come a long way in development, but it’s interesting to know that the same semi-precious gemstones and crystals that have been around for years and years are still being used in our lives.  It shows that natural treatment options are just as good (and better) to rely on for long term relief from conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress.  From childhood to late adulthood (and beyond), these bracelets are giving people of all demographics, ages, and situations, the comfort that they’re looking for while also offering a unique style additive to their lives.  From subtle to bold, this is as customizable as the treatment is to those who want it.
 


 

Your Guide to Prevent and Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder at Home

As winter weather sets in, millions of US residents brace for battle with seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that occurs when the seasons change. SAD typically occurs in the winter. People who suffer from the condition are usually between ages 18 and 30. Warning signs include, but are not limited to:

  • Decreased energy
  • Depressed mood
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • A sense of hopelessness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Altered sleep patterns
  • Lack of interest in activities you typically enjoy
  • In severe cases, thoughts of suicide or death

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible. If a diagnosis of SAD is given, or if you’re feeling the “winter blues”, here is how you can handle the symptoms from your home.
 

Light Therapy Boxes & Spectrum Bulbs

 
Your Guide to Prevent and Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder at Home

Sitting next to a light therapy box (also called a light box) for at least 30 minutes a day provides relief for some people. The light box provides comparable light to a bright, sunny day. Don’t look directly into the light box, but remember to keep your eyes open. Many people use them in the morning while eating breakfast, checking email, catching up on work, or getting ready for the workday.

Other people find relief by creating a comforting or energizing space near a full spectrum bulb or daylight bulb. The bulbs aren’t powerful enough to mimic the daylight but can go a long way in combating season depression. Consider creating an inspirational reading nook or setting up a treadmill or stationary bike near the bulb.
 

Bring Your Home to Life with Plants

 
Your Guide to Prevent and Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder at Home

Bring life to your home with plants. It sounds simple, but it is effective. Consider building a DIY greenhouse in your backyard and grow veggies and fruits year-round, or fill the rooms in your living space with green and blooming plants. If you’re living area is small, select an area to be a sadness-free retreat. Set up a yoga mat to practice mindfulness next to an exercise area; adding movement to your day will produce endorphins and serotonin, which will help improve your mood.
 

Choose Warm, Joyful Colors

 
Your Guide to Prevent and Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder at Home

Assess your home’s color scheme. If you’re surrounded by dark or muted colors outside, consider the opposite for the inside of your home. Paint your walls with colors that inspire warmth and joy, like a cozy sunrise, or a warm, light blue sky. Plus, adding a DIY project to your to-do list can help boost your energy and creativity, studies show.
If painting seems too daunting, swap out throw pillows for brighter colors or trade dark-colored bedding for soft yellow hues.

Consider changing your artwork to mirror your favorite outdoor scenes and hanging pictures from your favorite recent vacations. Thinking about past times of joy can boost happiness in a blue moment,research shows.
 

Try New Recipes

 
Your Guide to Prevent and Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder at Home

Work more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Try new recipes. These are sure ways to tackle many kinds of depression, including SAD. If it’s cold outside, try a new soup, stew or crockpot recipe. Invite friends over to taste the results. The food – and the company – will feel good.
 

Surround Yourself with Good Vibes

 
Your Guide to Prevent and Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder at Home

Surround yourself with your favorite works of art, music and literature. These will motivate you during times when you might be at a greater risk for SAD. Upbeat music is a great mood-booster, so why not pipe it through your home with a multi-room music system?

Also, consider design schemes that inspire a positive attitude. Choose décor that will build your confidence and put soul into your surroundings, such as quotes from people you admire or family heirlooms that remind you of positive childhood memories.

Experts still don’t know exactly what causes seasonal affective disorder, but whenever changes come around the corner – big or small – humans have an emotional response. You don’t have to have an official diagnosis to feel a touch of the blues during the colder, darker months. Use these home tips to help manage feelings of depression any time of the year.

Original post from Redfin
 
 

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Exactly?

OCD is the abbreviation for obsessive compulsive disorder. This is a psychological disorder that is difficult for those who suffer from the condition. Imagine lying in bed, mind working at full speed with eyes wide open, unable to sleep. You are worried about something that happened earlier that day. You play the scene over and over in your head but you can’t beat the fear. There is no rational reason for the anxiety.

This anxiety disorder causes people to experience disturbing obsessions and use compulsive behaviors in an effort to find relief from the fear. These compulsive behaviors can give the sufferer a feeling of control over their fears.

People who are experiencing OCD often feel as if no one else understands what they are feeling or suffering. But others do understand. Psychiatrists estimate that about 1 in 50 adolescents and adults have an obsessive compulsive disorder.
 


 
Interestingly, OCD is found in higher numbers in those people who haven’t graduated from high school and those who have graduated from college with a degree versus those who only have some college background. The disorder also usually begins in the late teens to mid-twenties in both sexes.
 
Some of these obsessions can take the form of intrusive thoughts or urges that are sexually related, fear of germs, moral or religious doubt and the urge to tell, ask or confess to others. These obsessions feel as if there is no escape. Everything reminds the individual of the obsession – television, magazines, advertising, and conversations. There will always be a ‘but’ to the conversation the individual holds with himself proving him wrong when he’s right.
 
Another aspect to OCD include being unable to throw things away, known as hoarding. Other disorders including hair pulling, body dysmorphic disorder (falsely believing one is ugly) and skin picking are also OCD disorders.
 
People with OCD will compulsively check that the door is locked, think they ran over something with their car and must go back and check, or compulsively touch all objects they pass. Many who suffer from OCD also suffer from depression from the frustration and hopelessness they experience as a result of the disease.
 

 
Some children are more vulnerable to developing OCD as a result of a Streptococcal infection (strep throat). In these children the antibodies mobilized to kill the strep mistakenly identify the basal ganglia as a foreign body and attack them. The basal ganglia is a part of the brain that helps to control motor movement. When the ganglia becomes inflamed an autoimmune response happens and the body recognizes its own body as foreign resulting in OCD type behavior. OCD that is related to strep throat has a sudden and earlier onset than OCD that happens to adolescents and young adults.
 
We hope this articles gives you a clearer picture on what OCD is and how to recognize some of the symptoms. Do you have any OCD-related habits? If so, we’d love to hear about them and if you are able to manage them on a day-to-day basis. Just use the comment box below. Also, for additional information on OCD, have a look at the resources below. Until next time.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

International OCD Foundation: Cognitive Behavior Therapy
HelpGuide: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
OCD Center of Los Angeles: CBT for OCD and Anxiety
MayoClinic: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

10 Common Symptoms Of Depression

Every year approximately 9.5 per cent of the American population suffers from depression. Depression is a grave illness that affects day to day life and destroys families. It is a disorder that controls the mind and its functions causing loss of appetite, sleeplessness, mood swings, and a deep sense of despair.

The symptoms of depression are varied and the severity changes with time. And, according to experts depression can be an inherited disorder, or caused by life threatening illnesses, or stress. Other causes are certain diseases, medicines, substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, etc.) or mental illnesses. Women are seen to experience depression more than men and this is attributed to hormonal swings, menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy, miscarriage, pre-menopause, and post-menopause.
 
Common symptoms are:

  1. An unshakeable sadness, anxiety, or emptiness.
  2. Overwhelming hopelessness accompanied by pessimistic feelings.
  3. Extreme guilt, feelings of helplessness, and no sense of self worth.
  4. Loss of energy, a slowing down of metabolism, and activity levels. Being plagued by constant fatigue.
  5. A sense of helplessness along with an increasing inability to focus and indecisiveness.
  6. Loss of sound sleep and development of extreme insomnia.
  7. Inexplicable weight loss or weight gain. Triggered by loss of appetite or eating binges.
  8. Brooding and suicidal inclinations.
  9. Irritability, short temper, as well as restlessness.
  10. Physical afflictions like headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain for no particular reason.

 

 
If you experience any of the above along with a marked change in behavior do consult your doctor. He will give you a thorough examination to rule out physical causes for depression as well as any underlying medical problems. Then if required he will recommend that you consult a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Take matters in hand and try and erase negativity from your mind. Cut out from you life terms like exhaustion, worthlessness, and hopelessness. Change your life by setting yourself a few goals. Try and relax, meditate, and enjoy music. Start new activities that absorb your time as well as interests. Go out and meet people and participate in group activities. Avoid the company of negative people. Make up your mind to enjoy a movie, ballgame, family outing, picnic, or trek. Be positive, self confident, and have faith in yourself. Faith is itself a great healer. Decide to change your world for the better. However do follow the doctor’s advice. Treatment can include: anti-depressant medicines, psychotherapy, as well as lifestyle changes. In extreme cases electroconvulsive therapy or light therapy are prescribed.

If your depression escalates or you are suicidal seek help from your family physician or health care provider. Do call a local health department, a community mental health center, or hospital or clinic. Someone will extend a helping hand and talk you through the crisis.

Suicide Prevention Resources

 

Top Ten So-Called “Habits” That May Indicate That You Have Anxiety

There isn’t anyone in this world who does not engage in some sort of “habit”…and often on a daily basis. Some people walk fast, while others twist their hair, for example. While most of these are actually benign behaviors, you should know that there are some habits that actually could be a sign that you suffer from anxiety. Below are ten of the most common behaviors that people often erroneously refer to as “habits, without realizing that they may be attempting to compensate for feeling anxious:

  1. Smoking – So many people smoke now…although many are learning that it can cause great harm to their health. There are many smoking cessation programs available which one can access. Note that smoking is often a telltale sign of anxiety.
  2.  

  3. Nail Biting – Thousands of people bite their nails every day. This ordinarily does not do much harm to people, except that it may lead to infection around the nail. Pay attention to the fact that you may be engaging in “nail biting” because you feel nervous and stressed.
  4.  

     

  5. Hair Pulling – This is more common than people think. Some people pull hair out from various regions of the body (eyelashes, eyebrows, scalp, etc…) when they feel anxious about something. Often this is done unconsciously. If done regularly and in excess, it can lead to hair-loss, and may be a sign of a more serious disorder known as “trichotillomania” (a close relative of a disorder known as OCD-Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Just note that this could indicate that you have anxiety.
  6.  

  7. Leg Bouncing – This can’t do any harm to you…except to drive other people nuts watching you bounce your leg! However, it could be a sign to you that you need to relax more and are suffering from anxiety.
  8.  

  9. Foot Tapping – This can’t cause any problems, other than to annoy others who are watching you tap your feet! Although…your feet might get tired! Bear in mind that “foot tapping” may be more than just a habit…it may indicate that you are stressed out.
  10.  

  11. Overeating – Most of us love to eat! But if done in excess, it could cause significant weight gain and lead to a variety of health problems. Comfort foods, such as brownies, cookies, fast food, and other high-sugar/high-fat snacks can cause obesity. Keep in mind that your “habit” of overeating may be a clear sign of anxiety.
  12.  

  13. Undereating – This could create a problem in that you may not get adequate nutrition and you could lose significant amounts of weight, which is referred to as “anorexia” in the medical world. It is essential to get the proper vitamins and minerals in order to stay healthy. Please note that undereating could be a sign that you have anxiety.
  14.  
    Top Ten So-Called “Habits” That May Indicate That You Have Anxiety- Oversleeping
     

  15. Oversleeping – This is known in the medical world as “hypersomnia”. It can’t do any harm to you, but if you are oversleeping you may be depressed. Depression is a close relative of anxiety, so be aware that you may have “hypersomnia” because you suffer from anxiety.
  16.  

  17. Undersleeping – This is known in the medical world as “insomnia” and can effect what’s known as cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that is effected when sleep is inadequate. Balanced cortisol levels are highly essential to having proper sleep, and thus keeping anxiety at a minimum. If you have “insomnia”, then this may be a clear indicator that you have anxiety.
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  19. Skin Picking – This “habit” can cause harm to you, in that it may create scarring or infection to the area that is being picked. Note that sometimes people who engage in this “habit” are doing it to relieve stress or anxiety.
  20.  
    There are four easy steps to help you to better understand your “habit” and its cause:

    • Step 1. Pay attention to your own behavior, and notice your “habits.”
    • Step 2. Ask others what habits they see you engaging in, of which you may be unaware.
    • Step 3. Document in a journal what these habits are, and when you engage in them. (e.g. “I seem to pace just before a big exam in school.”)
    • Step 4. Over time, you can establish a pattern of when you engage in a particular habit, and thus pinpoint the cause.

     
     
    Disclaimer – Please keep in mind that we are not trained professionals here at Tools For Depression And Anxiety. The information on anxiety habits mentioned above was posted for informational purposes only. Please consult your doctor for any mental health issues.
     
    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR ANXIETY
     
    Redi-Calm Natural Anxiety Relief Supplement
    Bracelets for Anxiety
     

Best Natural Antidepressant Alternatives

Natural herbal treatments take advantage of the body’s natural healing abilities for treating various conditions. As you may already be aware of, nowadays, there are herbal treatments for almost every condition known to man, with some of them actually being found to have a decent scientific basis. Depression is no exception. In today’s post we are going to cover a variety of natural antidepressant alternatives that are easily found in today’s market. If this is something you are interested in, please keep reading.
 
 

Antidepressant Alternatives

 
Before we get into the various alternatives available to you, we want to mention that herbal remedies are not for everyone. What we mean by that is that some people respond well to them and others don’t respond at all. You may have to just give one a try for a while to see if it works for your situation. Also, always even though they are natural remedies, we strongly recommend that you consult your doctor before using them.
 

Valerian

 
Valerian, which has long been known as an herb that can combat anxiety attacks, has also been linked to depression. Since anxiety and depression tend to be encountered in the same patients, Valerian has sometimes been used as a means of treating both conditions with just one herb. Valerian has also been used to treat insomnia, which is similar to anxiety in that both are medical conditions that are often closely linked to depression. Valerian works by releasing a number of compounds into the body that boost production of gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is an inhibitory chemical used by the central nervous system.
 

 
 

Gotu Kola

 
Gotu kola, an ayurvedic herb, has also been used as a natural antidepressant. Among practitioners of ayurvedic medicine, in is known as brahmi. The dried stems, flowers, and leaves of this particular plant contain a host of components that can be useful for treating depression and anxiety, including asiatic acid and madecassic acid. It has also been known to help people improve their moods, as well as having benefits for memory and concentration.
 

 
 

St. John’s Wort

 
According to medical science, the leaves contain a number of natural antidepressants or chemicals that often appear as base ingredients in a wide range of common depression medication. Typically, using this can have noticeable positive effects on mild depression in about two weeks. However, for more severe cases, the usual time frame is closer to around six months of regular use. St. John’s Wort should be taken with food, and taking it with alcohol should be avoided to minimize the chances of developing side effects. Note that this has been known to interact with other medications, so a pharmacist should also be consulted for more information.
 

 
 

Gingko-biloba

 
Gingko-biloba has also been cited as a potential natural antidepressant, though there hasn’t been too much testing on this possibility. This particular substance has a number of components that boost the blood circulation to the brain. Since depression can be caused by a lack of proper blood flow to the brain, the use of gingko-biloba can be helpful in this regard. However, it should be noted that not all cases of depression are caused by a lack of proper blood circulation to the brain. In other words, this may not be the best treatment for every depressed individual, depending solely on what caused the depression in the first place. Gingko-biloba, according to some recent findings, can be successful in treating depression in cases where standard medication fails.
 

 
 
We hope that you enjoyed this post and found some of the information useful. If you have other suggestions for natural antidepressant alternatives or personal feedback on the ones we mentioned above, we’d love to hear from you. Just use the comment box below. Until next time. (Note: Before you go, have a look at our depression bracelets, which is another natural way of dealing with depression.)
 
 
Disclaimer – Please keep in mind that we are not trained professionals here at Tools For Depression And Anxiety. The information on antidepressant alternatives mentioned above was posted for informational purposes only. Please consult your doctor for any mental health issues.
 
 
ADDITIONAL DEPRESSION RESOURCES
 
Books & Workbooks on Depression
Bracelets for Depression
Light Therapy for Depression
 
 

Beating Depression One Step At A Time

It is important to understand the things to watch for and what you should anticipate when it comes to depression treatments. You will want to familiarize yourself with resources in your area and experts able to guide you in your quest to make life more enjoyable. This article provides valuable tips that can serve as a starting point.
 
Try to maintain your regular level of socialization. It is understandable that your depressed mood makes you want to skip all those normal outings and activities. Even so, it’s important to keep these up. Continue with your normal activities. Falling out of your normal life routines can make you feel even more depressed.
 
If you are trying to manage your depression, consider picking up a new hobby or finding a new interest. Keep your life full of interests and activities, otherwise it may lead to depression. Plan activities that are exciting enough to make you want to fight against depression just to be able to enjoy them. If you try an activity and you don’t like it, try another one. You don’t have to stick with an activity that you don’t enjoy, your goal is to try to incorporate something new to do into your life.
 

Look for support wherever you are able. Finding others who have dealt with depression, and who are able to pass on their tips for coping, will be very helpful to you.
 

 

One frequently overlooked variable in depression is diet and nutrition. If you eat improper foods, this can affect how you think and can make depression difficult to escape. To this end, foods which are fatty or otherwise low in nutrition should be avoided in favor of those with more nutritional benefits.
 

Realize that you alone can determine how you deal with depression in your life. As hard as it can be, depressed people should force themselves to think about the positive and try to actively improve the negative. It is such a negative word to describe feelings, and it leads to negative thoughts. Instead, use a term like “low mood” if you want to discuss your feelings; simply changing your language can help you feel better about your situation.
 
Ruminating about past events does little good, and the best thing you can do for yourself is focus on the future instead. Try to focus on the good things that await you, rather than worrying about things you can no longer change.
 
Create a happy decor for your home. A happy house or apartment will help to brighten your mood.
 
Whether or not it’s routine sadness or clinical depression, you should talk to a professional. Only a doctor can give you the right diagnosis and prescribe a medication if you need it. Also, they will be able to deduce what kind of depression is affecting you.
 
As you have seen in the above tips, there is a lot of knowledge you can acquire before seeking treatment for your depression and it’s this knowledge, along with assistance from a doctor, that can help improve your symptoms. Do everything you must to find a treatment that works for you.
 

The Importance Of Knowing The Causes And Effects of Stress

Stress is a response to stimuli from your environment that you perceive as causing change to the status quo. Just a fancy way of saying that stress causes changes in your body that are physical and psychological. Effects of stress are varied and can vary even within the individual from situation to situation. Researchers theorize that humans and apes get more stress-related diseases because they are highly intelligent and have way too much spare time on their hands.

This may or may not be true. What is true is that humans are highly intelligent and often spend too much time ruminating over situations or life experiences they may not have as much spare time on their hands as researchers believe. In this fast paced world of fast food, big jobs, hobbies, activities, children, and responsibilities adults are often faced with non-existent time. In other words they are swamped with things to do and definitely not enough time to do them in.

The stress of relationships with spouses, children, step-children, bosses, co-workers, friends and parents can often precipitate psychological effects of stress. All vertebrate animals, including people, respond to stress by releasing hormones like adrenaline and glucocorticoids that increase heart rate and energy.
 
 
The Importance Of Knowing The Causes And Effects of Stress
 

Effects Of Stress On The Body

 
In the short term these hormones can be the difference between life and death. When you are faced with a situation which brings about a ‘fight or flight’ response your body responds as if you are under stress. This response gives you the strength to fight or flee from danger. But when your body is under this kind of stress over a persistent period of time it causes both physical and psychological changes in your body.

Some of the psychological effects of stress are a result of the suppression of the immune system that makes you more susceptible to infections and can affect erectile dysfunction and disruption of the menstrual cycle. Chronic stress also impacts brain function such as learning, memory and judgment, which don’t function well under stress.

In baboon studies researchers have found that animals with elevated resting levels of stress hormone have reproductive systems that aren’t effective, wounds that heal slowly, elevated blood pressure and anti-anxiety chemicals in their brain that aren’t working well.

Coping with the psychological effects of stress requires social support from friends and colleagues. Some of the effects of stress that you and your friends may notice are a decreased interest in day to day activities as you focus on the stress situation and solving the problem. Other effects of stress are losing the power to discriminate between what is good and bad for us.

Depression is another psychological effect of stress when the person is unable to make a decision about the situation or is facing a life challenge that doesn’t appear to have an end in sight.
 

 
Unfortunately one of the major physical effects of stress is premature death from stress related diseases such as heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and autoimmune diseases.

Before you leave, check out our Tools/Resources section. We have a variety of products that can help you cope with day-to-day life.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

HelpGuide: Stress Symptoms, Signs and Causes
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm

MayoClinic: Stress Symptoms
http://www.mayoclinic.org/stress-symptoms/art-20050987

National Cancer Insitute: Psycholgoical Stress and Cancer
http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2012/impact.aspx